Forest Contractors Call for Wood Housing Subsidy

Published: Wed 25 Feb 2009 01:11 PM
Forest Contractors Call for Wood Housing Subsidy to Boost Jobs and Benefit Environment
The Forest Industry Contractors Association is calling on Government to implement an Australian-style intervention to help keep jobs in New Zealand’s many small to medium companies and provide better homes for families. Here at home the banks don’t need propping up says the contractors association – let’s focus on keeping rural communities working, building wood-framed homes to help all New Zealanders enjoy healthier living in new homes build in wood.
FICA spokesman, John Stulen said the Government would have a win-win situation with a new wood-framed home subsidy. “Not only will a home subsidy scheme keep Kiwis working, but wood is the most environmentally friendly choice and suits home-building down the ground. The flow-on effect to sawmillers around the country, many of whom have had their workforces decimated while exporting with the high exchange rate, would focus on the best environmental market as well – wood-framing for the domestic market.”
Mr Stulen said the money would be well-spent, as evidenced by the Australian government’s decision to stimulate their economy twice in the recent past with this type of subsidy. Our Government can use Australia’s experience to provide a sustainable and locally beneficial benefit across this part of the construction sector and benefit builders, forest contractors, local forest owners and wood processors at the same time. “It’s the ideal domestic economy solution” said Stulen, “and more Kiwis get more healthy homes as a result.”
Wood provides a positive environmental impact when it is grown here in New Zealand and the carbon is locked up in solid wood uses, such as house framing,” added Stulen, “as the attached graph shows – it is the perfect environmental outcome for an economic stimulus package.”
John Stulen is chief executive of the Forest Industry Contractors Association, this industry body which represents the majority of forest contracting companies and rural-based workforce responsible for the sustainable forest tending and harvesting of the 1.8 million hectare plantation forest estate in New Zealand.
C02 Graph – The attached graph shows the effect of producing wood which absorbs C02 on its production.

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